We Are Not Ashamed

I'd be ashamed to be AIG, too

You’ve probably heard by now that Bing McGhandi over at Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes has started the I-Am-Who-Am Is Ashamed of Your Slogan Campaign.

It started when he discovered that Asses in Genesis has a new slogan (pictured above). It says they are not ashamed to stand on the Bible. Since these people are Biblical Literalists, Bing had no choice but to take them at their word. He’s now asking people around the world to show that they, too, are not ashamed to stand on the Bible.

I decided to ask one of my friends if he was willing to do so.

Jags stands on the Bible

23 Responses to “We Are Not Ashamed”

  1. WMDKitty Says:

    Of course they’re not ashamed, that requires self-awareness and a conscience!

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    Are you referring to the rat or the fundies?

  3. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I’m pretty sure rats have rudimentary self-awareness.

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    I’m pretty sure rats have rudimentary self-awareness.

    It depends how that’s defined. The classic experiment seems to be giving the animal a mirror and seeing if it recognizes the reflection as itself.

    The only animals (that I can recall) that realize they’re looking at themselves are elephants, dolphins, and the higher primates.

    Fundies would almost certainly qualify as higher primates. It would be interesting to give them a mirror and observe their reaction.

  5. Thomas Says:

    I have a couch at home that I keep level with a well worn copy of the Gideon’s hotel drawer bible.

  6. Karen Says:

    What a cute friend!

  7. Cobwebs Says:

    Your friend looks just like my favorite pet rat when I was a kid. Give him a hug for me!

  8. Bing Says:

    Very cute, indeed. I’ll put up the submissions on the 2nd. Thanks very much for the publicity and the submission!

    HJ

  9. Bryan Says:

    I am not ashamed

    Nobody said you should be. No one should be ashamed of their mental handicaps.

  10. Parrotlover77 Says:

    It depends how that’s defined. The classic experiment seems to be giving the animal a mirror and seeing if it recognizes the reflection as itself.

    The only animals (that I can recall) that realize they’re looking at themselves are elephants, dolphins, and the higher primates.

    I remember reading about that experiment too. I’m not entirely convinced it’s a sure-fire test of self awareness. If they do recognize themselves, I can see that as an argument of self awareness. If they don’t, I think it’s inconclusive. This is partly because the animal has to recognize what a mirror does, and I’m not entirely sure that’s a prerequisite to self awareness.

    That said, I remember reading those conclusions too, but I can say with certainty that it isn’t accurate. I’ve had quite a few parrots in my life (shocking, I know). I have performed this experiment with nearly all of them, out of a curiousity about how they would react.

    Budgies (common parakeets) generally do not recognize themselves. They will sign to it, attack it, love it (depending on their personality) like it’s another bird.

    Lovebirds seem 100% indifferent to it. It’s (again) inconclusive. Do they know it’s themselves so they are ignoring it? The same love birds will strike at other love birds they don’t know (even the same species and colorations). I can’t make a determination, but my personal bias points to them realizing it is themselves and just not caring.

    My conure, she had the most intriguing reaction. At first, she was convinced it was another bird. She would fluff up like she was angry. Then she would move her head to the side and as she got to the edge of the mirror, she would be like “wtf?” as the bird disappeared. She would look behind it and just act thoroughly confused about the whole situation. After about three sessions with the mirror, she seemed to figure out what was going on. She didn’t look behind it anymore to see where the other bird disappeared to. In fact, a few times she would settle in and get affectionate if I appeared over her and gave her a kiss on the head. She likes this in any situation, but it seemed (again, my bias here) she was seeing me approach at an angle she normally doesn’t and was reacting before the action took place — as in, she seemed to realize the reflection was, in fact, a reflection.

    I’d love to see how an African Grey reacts. They are incredibly intelligent in many other respects. A crow would be interesting too, because they are fellow “tool users.”

  11. Ron Britton Says:

    ParrotLover:

    If they do recognize themselves, I can see that as an argument of self awareness. If they don’t, I think it’s inconclusive. This is partly because the animal has to recognize what a mirror does, and I’m not entirely sure that’s a prerequisite to self awareness.

    That is the part that has always bothered me about those experiments. There are certain assumptions built in.

    That’s also why I mentioned definition. I’m not really sure what the scientists mean by self awareness. All mammals and birds seem to be aware of self and not-self. They all interact with other animals. They react to members of their own species differently than other species.

    I guess what the scientists mean is the awareness that “I am a member of a population” as a bit of an abstract thought. You don’t need that awareness to move through the world eating things that are smaller than you and running from things that are bigger.

  12. Draken Says:

    The only animals (that I can recall) that realize they’re looking at themselves are elephants, dolphins, and the higher primates.

    Sometimes I enter the bathroom in the morning and I have no idea who that hungover bastard is who’s following my every movement with the razor blade.

    That makes me a what?

  13. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Meh. I’d still bank on a rat over a fundie.

    PL, how many birds you got?

  14. OtherRob Says:

    My 19-month-old daughter likes looking at the “baby in the mirror”, but I don’t know if she recognizes it as herself or not. I seem to remember reading somewhere that babies start to recognize themselves in the mirror at around two.

    And I’m not just being a proud daddy when I tell you that she is highly intelligent and definitely self aware. :D

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    PL, how many birds you got?

    What do you think the “77″ stands for?

  16. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Heh!

  17. jerry Says:

    What a cute little rattie-rat! This makes me want to do some of the same, so thanks for the inspiration. Always enjoy your blog, even when I don’t comment, btw.

  18. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I guess what the scientists mean is the awareness that “I am a member of a population” as a bit of an abstract thought. You don’t need that awareness to move through the world eating things that are smaller than you and running from things that are bigger.

    Even that doesn’t seem to fit. Dogs/wolves live in packs. Birds frequently live in flocks. Many animals live in large social groups and mate for life (or very long periods of time). All these things seem to imply an awareness of community. Esepcially since you will frequently see competition between the various groups — a sort of ‘tribal’ competition. To recognize your species is one thing, but to recognize individuals as a part of your tribe and others as not seems to imply an acute awareness of social structure.

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:
    PL, how many birds you got?

    What do you think the “77″ stands for?

    Yea, I mean duh!

    I actually have 11.

  20. RunawayLawyer Says:

    OtherRob, by 19mos, she should recognize the other baby as herself – they usually do by 15-17mos.

  21. OtherRob Says:

    Thanks for the info, RunawayLawyer. I thought I remembered reading that it was around 24 months, but I wasn’t entirely sure. And besides, she’s such an advanced baby anyway, I’m sure she’s recognized herself for a long time. ;)

    As to other animals recognizing individuals, I have a vague memory of watching a National Geographic type special on tv many years ago. In it, I’m pretty sure, they showed elephants “examining” the bones of another elephant and the show seemed to imply that the elephants could recognize the individual the remains belonged to. I don’t know for sure if that was the point of the show or, if it was, if the show itself was correct.

  22. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob:

    I saw that same show. If any animals can do that, it would be the elephants. I’m not sure how they would recognize the individual, though, or how we know what we think we know about what they know.

  23. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I saw that too. Elephants are quite amazing. Elephants are a fantastic example of how anthropomorphizing the concept of intelligence can lead scientists to incorrect conclusions.

    For example, it wasn’t until relatively recently (I believe the 80s) when it was discovered that elephants communicate using infrasound. This is something outside the sensory range of humans, so if you approach elephant intelligence from that perspective, you might be thrown off by or dismiss as coincidence observations of elephants appearing to communicate over long distances with no apparent mechanism of communication.

    The same is true for birds, because I always have to pull animal conversations back to my feathered friends. ;-) Most birds can actually see into the ultraviolet range. It’s been found that captive parrots can develop behavior issues, which are due to stress, if you do not let them be exposed to UV light. Many interior lighting systems do not emit UV, so if they can’t get window light, this can become apparent. Interrestingly, if a parrot not exposed to UV for some time is suddenly exposed to it (by, say, a UV lamp for reptiles) it can actually stimulate a hormonal response that leads to mating and egg laying. Interesting stuff. :-) My birds are in a room with a window that does not have a UV filter, so they get plenty of natural light. :-)